Nine in 10 chemical companies break safety rules: researchers

Much of the Dutch chemicals industry is located in Rotterdam. Photo:

Nine in 10 chemicals companies in the Netherlands broke safety rules over a 10 year period and 7% had at least 40 infringements to their name, the NRC said on Tuesday.

The figures, which cover the period 2007 to 2017, come from a research project by Leiden and VU university criminologists which will be published later this year.

The problems range from poor fire prevention to a lack of maintenance and potential leaks of dangerous gases, the paper said.

The researchers studied 494 chemical companies considered to be ‘major risks’ by the government and which range from the likes of Shell and AkzoNobel to small storage firms. They recorded 7,362 infringements of the law over the 10 year period – an average of 15 per company.

The social affairs ministry has an extra €4.5m this year to up inspections of companies working with dangerous chemicals.

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